Extra help learning

Kids in the Williston and Minot areas could get extra tutoring assistance when the Sylvan Learning Center of Bismarck opens satellite centers over the next school year.

Kari Weigel said current plans are to open a satellite center in Williston sometime this fall. A satellite center in Minot could open before the end of the school year. They also intend to eventually locate satellite centers in Dickinson and Mandan.

Weigel, the executive director, said she will operate the satellite centers in western North Dakota with her mother, Ellen Jacobson. Satellite centers will operate as offshoots of the main Sylvan Learning Center in Bismarck. Weigel said the beginning schedule at the satellite center in Williston will likely start with two evenings a week, with expanded hours depending on the level of interest shown. Teachers at the center must hold a teaching license in North Dakota or in another state. Teaching licenses don’t necessarily need to be active. People who provide homework support or tutoring in an academic subject need to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but they don’t necessarily need to hold a teaching license. People who work at Sylvan will be trained in Sylvan instructional techniques.

Weigel said the Sylvan Learning Center in Bismarck works with students from age 4 up to adults who have certain academic goals. Each student is assessed to determine where they are at academically and the Sylvan Learning Center will devise a prescriptive program for that student, using the Sylvan program.

Weigel said the reasons students come to the center can vary. Some students might need help with a specific subject. Some might need extra practice for ACT. Some students have learning disabilities, though many do not.

“Disability or not, everybody can learn,” said Weigel.

Weigel said the satellite centers will be using a digital instructional platform through the iPad, which will allow teachers to work with students who aren’t in the same building. That delivery system is one of the things that makes the satellite centers feasible, she said.

“Thank goodness for that, that’s why we can come,” said Weigel, who said they had previously looked at the possibility of satellite centers in western North Dakota.

Weigel said they have not yet decided on a location for the satellite center in Minot but are looking at potential sites.

The Sylvan Learning Center in Bismarck has been open for 18 years. Weigel and her husband, Ryan Weigel, purchased the Fargo territory in May and began instruction at a center there this month.